Some good waves this week. Put in a few 6-8 hour days. Sore ribs, bit of rash....all worth the effort. Thankfully no arc eye's yet - as brough my Oakley Water Jackets with. Takes a bit of getting used to surfing with shades on, and learning to live with a few water drops in your vision all the time, but more than happy not to burn the sh*te outta my eye's. Look like a lekker Vaalie kook with em on, but that's the price to pay!
Surfed a rare left that only lights up in an unusual wind direction. Perfect peeling lefts down a long point. Jeesh, I so wish I didn't suck so bad on my backhand, cos you could get super long rides if you could pump a bit to make the odd section every 100m or so. Even being useless still got 100m rides. Nice flat reef too, so face plants went unpunished. Just us and 2 friendly locals.
Wind switched up again, so back to our favourite spot. Perfect waves for 2 days. Head high to overhead sheet glass perfection. Most of the time just the 2 of us, with just 2 sessions with another 4 peeps. Surfed so much didn't have time to take any shots. Eish.
Caught a few fish trolling between surf spots. Garth picked up a kiff grouper that weighed in at nearly 12kg's. Plenty of dog tuna, and a few red snapper. Freezer is full again. Yebo. Glad to know I'll never starve if my husband has a fishing rod handy!
Waste is a huge problem on the islands, as there's no garbage collection - meaning the islands have to dispose of their own waste. Unfortunately this means a lot of it gets dumped in the sea (and then washed back up onto another island!), although some is burnt too. The locals on this island came up with an ingenious way to use all the plastic cola bottles. They cut em up, painted em, and pieced em together to build a fence for the pre-primary school. Reduce, reuse, recycle! Lekker!
Missed the lunar eclipse cos was early hours of the morning, but snapped a shot of the moon rising instead. Moon phase plays an important part of surfing here, as tides often govern when you can surf a spot - or how much paddling you'll be doing. Many spots are just too dangerous on the low tide, unless the swells really big and you can surf further out on the reef. The tides create some serious currents in and out of the reef passes too, so you can find yourself paddling your meilie off and getting nowhere fast! You only have to try surfing on the wrong stage of the tide just once to learn that lesson! Think of the worst rip you've ever been caught in....and triple it!
Last week here coming up. Charts are slow to start with, then pick up into some good looking surf. Just holding thumbs the winds play ball.....
Ou's like Brazilian wax jobs. And now they like Brazilian wax too. Can't show you a pic of Brazilian wax job as this is a PG site, but can show you some Brazilian wax. Enter Fu.
Fu wax has been getting itself some serious attention for a while now, so let's take a look at why the pro's are going ape about it.
When Taj Burrow arrived in Sydney from the Billabong Pro Brazil a coupla years back, his excess baggage charge featured a lot more than just fond memories of Rio and a runner-up trophy. It held upward of 20 kilos of a wax that he reckons is so good that he’ll never go back to traditional wax.
Taj was turned onto the wax by Kolohe Andino, who heard about it from Nat Young. Kolohe wasn;t convinced about it til Brazilian surfer Wiggoly Dantos stayed with him for a contest at Trestles. Wig said he should try it. The results were mind-blowing.
“Oh my gosh! I’ve just fallen in love. It was just goo’ing everywhere,” remembers Kolohe. “It was the like traction you get when you’re wearing booties.”
Can a wax really be this good? “No one ever believes at first,” says Kolohe. “Taj texted from Brazil and was, like, ‘Where do I get this wax? I need that shit!’ It was like it was drugs or something. You have to have it.”
Taj, like almost every other pro surfer on tour, used Sex Wax (Quick Humps) almost exclusively but has made the change to Fu.
There’s been relatively little change in wax over the last century. Surfboard traction began with sand-infused varnish, continued to paraffin-based wax in the ’40s, and with the invention of the traction pad in the ’80s became more specialized, stickier, and temperature-specific. But today’s progression in surfing is calling for an evolution in wax.
Meet Fuad Mansur, the namesake and creator. He and his brothers released their first wax in 1970, but the tipping point was in ’87 when a melting-point accident in the wax lab created a product that finally held up in cooler water. Fuad was so taken by his new formula on his first test in cold temps that he surfed past dark and left the water with a mild case of hypothermia. After two days of hospitalization, he returned to Brazil and coined that Fu Wax is “adherence taken seriously.”
Younger sibling Tuca Mansur said he and his brothers are honored by the hype. “We are a family in the wax world and it’s amazing that a little company from Brazil has made such a ripple effect in the U.S. market,” said Tuca. “Imitation or impersonation is the biggest form of flattery, so we feel pretty special knowing we’ve helped change the landscape.” Converts to Fu Wax are telling him they’re landing maneuvers they never have in the past. Martin Potter told him it was cheating, like surfing with foot straps.
Gone are the methodically groomed bumps, ditched instead for the new hot, stringy mess of these hyper-tack waxes, which stick to the bottom of your feet as well as they do to your fingertips, board bags, wetsuits, and chest hair. The import pressure from South America has kicked the U.S. market into gear, entering the game on the heels of the first change to wax in a while.
Sex Wax continues the innuendo with their new Dream Cream, infamous for an obscene level of stickiness. “These formulas are a radical departure from the surf wax characteristics that we have become accustomed to over the last several decades,” said Fred “Zog” Herzog, Sex Wax founder. The company actually warns that Dream Cream may be too sticky for some. “You are going to get incredible traction in the water, but you are going to have to deal with what could aptly be described as a mess waiting to happen.”
These waxes all carry the “topcoat” label, meaning they’re meant to be applied light and sparingly over a good basecoat or worn down bumps. Its biggest potential is in the contest sphere, where wax only needs to last a heat. “There appears to be a real need for enhanced traction when it comes to high-performance, competitive surfing,” said Zog. “It remain to be seen whether or not this translates into a significant demand on the part of the general surfing public.”
The way pros surf these days, they definitely need it. Sometimes all that’s left on the board while they’re spinning through the air is one big toe somewhere on the deck.
But for the average Jo surfer? Is that extra traction worth turning your wetsuit or boardies into a gummy mess?
Landed in the Maldives on Thursday. Nice to swap winter for 28C water and palm trees. Bit of pesky weird wind directions to start with, but more than happy to grab a few waves - albeit not perfect perfection quite yet.
Hard to bemoan chilling on a boat with just the two of you and chugging between tropical islands. Did our usual hightail out of the crowded North Male surf zone. Nothing much appealing about having to share waves with frothing Brazzo's, crazed Israelis and clueless Euro's. Nup, much rather spend a few days on the boat heading out into the far quieter central atolls. My idea of the perfect surf trip is to surf with less people than I do at home.
The weird winds have also seemed to scare the fish away, so at this stage it's fish 1, us 0. Despite a fresh new Shimano 30 just waiting for something to tug on it's line and pop it's cherry. I reckon we have enough fishing tackle with us to start a small fishing shop. I stopped counting at 40 rapala's and about 10 squid, and countless other small lures and jigs. Let's just say there isn't much space for clothes in the luggage bag...
Gotto love the 21st century. Sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and still managed to find an internet site broadcasting the Super 15 rugby. Settled in to watch the Kings vs Bulls game...and then promptly wished we hadn't found the website! Gored by the Bulls. Eish.
We always travel on the same boat, and have become good mates with the crew over the years. This year we decided to get them into the water a bit to share in the stoke that is surfing. Popped a new bodyboard into the boardbag, and brought it over for them. Waited til it got fairly small this arvo to get them out on it. No good trying to drown the captain or the chef at the start of the trip! They had a blast, and are now fully fledged surf rats.
Tomorrow we head off to a seldom surfed spot that requires a pretty rare set of wind/swell combinations to light up, and it looks like we might just be in some luck. Only challenge is it's a left, and I have a pretty horrendous backhand thanks to surfing right points all my life. It's known to throw up some picture perfect barrels on it's day....so not only will I be going the wrong way, I have a sneaking feeling I might have to avoid face-planting into the reef on my barrel avoidance maneuvers. Pig-dog into eat-shit in quick succession! Let's wait and see....
Remember yesterday when you heard that a man, South-African in nationality and iron in will, had been plucked outta the ocean after falling overboard and floating on his back for 28 hours?
His name is Brett Archibald. You also heard that the ship who found him was the Barrenjoey. You might’ve then discovered that the gentleman captaining said Barrenjoey was Australian Tony ‘Doris’ Eltherington. This is the name of a man who helped spearhead a rescue op and, along with a proactive fleet, tirelessly trawled kilometres of ocean without giving up a squeak of that pretty little thing called hope. Stab shoot though a gap in island-chain reception to light up Doris’ phone in the haze of post-rescue glory.
Stab: How long did you search for?
Doris: I got the call at 12:30pm, and it was 6:55am the following day when we found him. I collected the guy at 6:55 and I cracked a Bintang at 7:02.
What did you know?
There wasn’t a great deal of information going around at all. The weather was absolutely deplorable. We were anchored up in Tua Pejat, and the vessel involved, that Brett had been on, had been anchored there. One of my legendary Indonesian crew went in and saw the Harbour Master to clear our boat in, ’cause you need clearance in and out of the Mentawais. And he came flying back to me, going “Cap! A guy’s fallen off the side of Naga Laut!” I just went, “There’s a man out there dying, let’s fucking go.” I rang everyone I could and everyone just went, “We’re coming, we’re coming.” Martin (Daly) deployed Trader III, everyone just got going. We jumped in the Binda Laut, Johnny (McGroder)’s dinghy with the twin 175s, with the doctors and a few of the boys from Western Australia, and hammered it out into 35-40 knot winds, on a course that I had half an idea about. We got out there and it was fucking horrendously horrible. I think I missed Brett by about a mile, because of the weather, going by my feelings on the track and looking at my plotter.
Must’ve been tough going out there.
I hammered it around til about 5:30pm and it was absolutely horrendous. The usual safety procedure is to look after yourself before you become another victim. I didn’t like what I was looking at in the tin boat. We had to run down wind to get back to the island, we were about 20 miles out to sea. It’s like being off Sydney or the Gold Coast in a 30-knot southerly. Whitewater and shit everywhere, trying to go sideways against this stuff and getting the shit kicked out of us. We went back to the boat and I stormed up and down all night smoking cigarettes. I couldn’t sleep. We deployed at 4am. We knew his last known location and, using our wits, calculated which way to go. We had a boat five miles further out and we were gonna go parallel up the coast on a NNW course, keeping in contact while the other boats tried to catch up to help. We wanted to get all boats in a line, with a mile between each other running parallel on our rough estimate of where this man should be. I had text messages and phone calls going until the signal ran out. I had the HF radios going full blast trying to co-ordinate. Then I went, fuck, I need a second. I went upstairs to have a ciggie and get off the radio for a second. Something happened up there. I’ve just lost one of my best friends, my ex-fleet manager, and I reckon he helped me. We got him buried that day. And I reckon he called out and gave us some help. I dunno, I just lay the boat about 18 degrees further north, and went, this guy’s gotta be in this sector. Now, I’ve just done four months’ oil and gas work, and you learn to look to the horizon and then come back to the boat, so you don’t look over the water, you’ve gotta scan up and down. I went to the crew upstairs and said, “Here’s the binoculars, boys.” I’d no sooner done two steps and my deckie went, “Cap! There he is!” My heart fell through my ass, mate. I was crying and yelling over the radio, “We’ve got him!” We hammered it and pulled up to him, threw life rings, surfboards, water, all my guests who are these top guys from WA dived over and grabbed him, hugged him, supported him, brought him back up. And we downloaded him with the doctors, that whole process.
What did he say?
Brett reckons he was in the water 27 hours. Sharks circling him. He reckons he was gonna die eight times, but he didn’t. He was thinking about his kids and wife. And fucking seagulls, trying to land on his baldy head, trying to pluck his eyes out. He reckons the seagulls saved his life ’cause he had to keep fighting the fuckers and he was trying to grab hold of one to rip its head off and drink its blood. He reckons they kept him alive ’cause he was thinking, “Fuck, I’m not gonna get my eyes plucked out.” Anyway. Got him. All good mate. He told me he’d been chronically sea sick and had diarrhoea. Obviously he went and ate in a Padang restaurant. He was chronically ill, spewed and shit and all that stuff three times, and the fourth time he went up he reckons he fainted. He must have come outta the air-con, been extremely ill, and he said to me that he doesn’t remember falling, but he certainly remembers the water on his face when he wasn’t on the boat anymore.
Did you backtrack over the same area much?
Certainly. But soon I went, “Nup, this ain’t happening.” Something in my heart and instinct said fuck it, I’m turning this boat 18 or 20 degrees further north. With the tide, and the wind the night before, I was going, this guy’s gotta be in this sector. If he’s still alive. I was hoping I wasn’t gonna pick up a corpse.
Did you lose hope at any point and think you were gonna just find a body?
No fucken way, mate. Not when I got the text message off Johnny going, “Brett Archibald, 51, cyclist, fit, father of two,” etc. When you get the father of two young kids, you know the guy’s got a lot more strength. The kids give you strength ’cause you wanna see them again. And once I heard he was a fit fella, I knew there was hope. And because the water’s so warm up here, like, it’s 28 to 30 celsius, you’ll last a month, you won’t die of hypothermia like you would off Sydney or Tassie, where you’re gonna go in about an hour or three.
What made you keep at it?
I’ve got three kids and three grandkids, mate. I know how he would’ve felt. It could’ve been one of us. We’re Aussies, we’re tough little vegemites. We don’t give up. I had no intention of giving up at all. – Elliot Struck
Let's all agree. Monday's are generally kak. It started out as a mediocre day. Really arb swell, funky winds. Decided to get some work done. Lunch-time comes and think it'd be a good idea to get wet, despite lack of surf. Swim with a surfboard beats sitting working on computer any day.
Wetsuit on, sunscreen on. All good. As about to leave my flat to go down and get board suddenly hear our block's generator go on. Not good. Means electricity has gone awol. Double not good cos my garages have electric doors - which mean I can't get to my surfboards. Ah, wait. I installed a manual key lock specifically for when the power goes out and I still need to be able to get my boards. Had planned ahead. Clever.
But now not so clever. Where is the key? Eish, she be gone. K, who can I bum a board off?....cos now all dressed up ready for a surf...with no board. Rule #1....if you are in your wetsuit you may not get out of it again if you haven't got into the water. Maybe I can just go bodysurf? Nope, fins in garage too.
Call John at Surf Centre hoping he can drop a shop board off as he comes past. Cos car stuck in basement. Door is electric. But John was already at Pipe for a quick surf. K, scratch that off the list.
K, who else is in walking distance with boards? Ah, Mush! He's in 5th avenue and has a huge board rack. Call Mush. No answer. Mush sucks at answering his phone. Call Mush's guesthouse. Mush is out. Don't want to just go take board without asking. K, scratch that off the list. Next option?
Think, think, think......
Wait a minute...have got Greg Smith's number, and he's just down the lane. Call Greg. "Apologies for random call...please can I come borrow a board!" Greg's like, for sure, no worries. Good man, Greg.
Run down the lane, grab Greg's mini-simmons 5ft6 keel finned square-tailed wave gobbling machine. Yes please! Love trying new boards, and have been seeing Greg rip on this lil thing and been keen to give it a bash.
Eish, this board went like a Boeing in the pap, lumpy conditions. Plenty volume up front and a massive square tail at the back give it lotsa lift, making paddling a dream. Still has ample rocker and kiff sharp rails at the tail - with a nice double V concave, so turns on a dime. Soft rails and a wide, high volume nose make late take-offs a dream and are very forgiving on turns and getting you back down off the lip. Fun, fun, fun.
How much fun? I went and dropped the board back at Greg's after my surf....and ordered one for myself!
So what started off as a kak day ended up with me getting a new board. Happy with that. There is always a silver lining to a dark cloud.
PS no idea how peeps surf Millers without booties. Got plenty holes in my feet making the walk out and back in over the reef. My booties were stuck in the garage too. First time have ever surfed Millers without booties. Won;t repeat the exercise in a hurry. Happy to admit am a wimp.
PPS - this is a super fun board to have in your quiver. Just ask Brian du Plessis - he is absolutely ripping his to pieces. Tune Greg on 083 230 5531 if you wanna get one.
Got this classic story from Julian Pledger about nearly getting arrested for surfing Hummies back in the day:
"Looking at those old shots of Humewood reminded me of the time we were surfing some real storm stuff and the beach manager called the flying squad to get us out the water!
This was after the loudspeaker effort had fallen on deaf ears. It was mid winter, raining with not a soul on the beach and we had these real boere policeman running into the water trying to grab us at the end of every wave(guns and all)!
The cable was still attached, running from the pylons across to the small breakwater and you had to watch out that your head was not taken off by it as you surfed past. One of the locals pointed at the No Surfing sign and asked me what the sign meant, I told him I did not know!
He kindly pointed out that it was to warn us to watch out for the cable! To avoid being arrested we surfed till dark and paddled in where the Shark Rock pier is today. My car was parked at the back of Humewood and I had two flat tyres - the beach manager really hated us! No sweat, I drove the car into the army camp behind Humewood and pumped the tyres up........now THOSE were the days!"
Nice one Julian!
John and I also nearly got arrested, must be about 6 years ago at least. Also surfing with no-one on the beach and had ignored the calls to come in. Next thing a police van screams up onto the grass, and this cop runs down onto the beach to wave us out! I was so mad that they would waste a policesman's time with suck kak, that I paddled straight in to tell him he should rather be trying to catch rapists and murderers than harrassing surfers! I made an appointment to see the beach manager the next day, to discuss why we weren't allowed to surf even if no bathers were around. It started the long discussion process which finally culminated in us being given permission to surf there if there was no-one swimming.
The deal is now that if they raise that yellow flag with the black circle on it, and hoot the horn/blow their whistles to get us out, then we have to bail.
The lifey's are pretty tolerant at letting us continue to surf if peeps are just wading in the shallows - but then use some common sense ou's, and don't ride the wave right to the end and finish off with a closeout manouveur right into the bathers - that's plain dumb - and of course we'll all then get chased out the water. And you'll be amazed at how many ou's do this! And then moan when we get called out. Rather just pull off the wave before the shallows, and at least we'll be able to keep surfing!
And if the lifey's call us out and there isn't even a swimmer in sight, it's normally for a good reason. This happened recently, and turns out they were about to have an inspector come to review their Blue Flag status...which means no surfers allowed. So they not just being arsey, they saving their ass!
Hummies is one of our best waves by far, so let's co-operate with the lifegaurds, and make sure we're allowed to keep surfing there. As if they have too much hassle with guys not coming in when they're called in, then they'll just ban surfing outright. Kak idea!
Photo's by Malcolm Turner
The 9th annual Spec-Savers Ironman will be held in the bay on Sunday. This means getting down to the beach could be a bit tricky - so check out the road closures and crossing points. Marine Drive from Hobie to Noordhoek will also be closed on Saturday morning from 07h00 to 11h00 for the corporate triathlon.
Come down and support all the crazy ou's that are subjecting themselves to a 4k swim, 180k bike and 42k run.
Download the road closure map here. Remember - road closure means have fun new places to skate before the race starts! Nice smooth bits of tar on the Hobie to Brooke's Hill stretch.
If you're feeling charitable and would like to support an excellent cause, then you can sms the word "Kids" to 39408 and you'll be donating a once-off donation of R15 to the Ironman 4 the Kidz charity.
It was started by husband in 2005, and to date has raised over R5 million for kids charities in the Eastern Cape. Beneficiaries include 12 local children's homes, youth care centres and baby shelters. It's not only about the financial support, but also about instilling in these kids the Ironman motto of Anything is Possible, and giving them hope.
It has seen fantastic results, with many of the kids at the children's home now finishing matric and going on to university, whereas prior to the charity getting involved most would leave school in Grade 10. Many of the youngsters from the homes now participate in the Pritt Ironman held on Saturday - and beam with achievement on receiving their finishers medals. Last year money raised by the charity built a games and recreation centre for the kids at the EP Children's home.
Check out more on the Ironman 4 the Kidz <here>
When I shot Hummies for a coupla days last month I couldn;t help notice that Luke Bakker was blowing up in a big way. So I decided to send a coupla shots of him off to the Zag guys to say hey, we have some surf ninja's here in PE too! They were super keen to chat to Luke, so here goes....
INTERVIEWS: SURF NINJA - LUKE BAKKER
If you had to ask the 11-time world champ where he learnt to surf, Kelly Slater would tell you “a place like PE, but warmer”. Well, maybe he wouldn’t mention PE, but Cocoa Beach is not known for its epic waves.
Neither is PE, but it too produces its fair amount of ripping surfers, and in amongst the past SA Champs and local heroes is a shredding junior named Luke Bakker, a DJ by night and wave assassin by day. He is this week’s Surf Ninja and a surfer to watch whenever a swell wraps into the bay.
NAME: Luke Bakker
LOCAL SPOT: Pipe
BEST THING ABOUT SURFING?
Surfing good waves with my friends.
WORST THING ABOUT SURFING?
TO MAKE A LIVING I…?
Mow the lawn for my dad and DJ part-time.
THREE TRACKS THAT HELP YOU SHRED?
DC-Breaks – Move Closer
Camo & Krooked – Dusk to Dawn
Danny Bird – Judgement Day
BEST SURFER IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW?
DAWNIE OR ARVO SESH?
WHICH SURF SPOT DO YOU HAVE TO SURF BEFORE YOU DIE?
Hossegor in France.
WHEN YOU ARE NOT SURFING, YOU CAN BE FOUND WHERE?
Behind my DJ equipment mixing tunes.
BEST SURFING MEMORY?
Surfing cooking Supers with my dad and uncle one afternoon while everyone else was watching the Bokke play rugby.
Original article on the Zag site here.
Eish, this ou single handedly managed to give all his fellow jetskiers a kak name by behaving like a nana. Riding your jetski in the surf in among bathers and surfers is plain downright mentally challenged. And to then take offence when the guys skel you out for doing it really takes the cake. Check out Dave McGregors article and Helen Shelvers shots (which I made into a timelapse).
Word is that charges have been laid, so let's hope the muppet-man learns some manners.....
You can check out another of Dave's articles about the incident here.
It's been officially announced that this winter will be Bong-free. Which is terribly kak news for all those of us that love watching the world best draw insane lines down the point at Supers. Here's Jarvi's take on the whole thing:
"It’s just been announced that this year, there will be no WCT event and no WQS event at Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay. Full stop. While Billabong’s Chad D’Arcy has said there’s serious discussion to bring the event back in 2014, locals won’t lose a day during peak season in 2013. The town, howevs, stands to lose an estimated 15 to 20 million rand in potential revenue. There’s been a whole lot of history-book moments at this event, which is something we’re gonna miss. But as we drive past this year, let’s squint at the sunset in the rearview mirror and remember some of the more engaging things we’ve seen in J-Bay’s pro career.
By Craig Jarvis
1. Joel Parkinson’s rookie win in 1999. Who didn’t scream as 18-year-old Parko carved those corduroy walls with style and effortless cool? It was a shock victory that made Joel a very popular surfer in South Africa and the rest of the world, from which he carried the momentum through to his next J-Bay event win in 2009, and his world title in 2012. Yes, he kept it going for over a decade.
2. Kelly Slater’s guitar sessions. Or more precisely, Kelly playing his guitar for hours on end to a captive audience in the sushi restaurant on Pepper Street. Sometimes he jived and the audience bopped accordingly, other times he simply came across as a tone-deaf crooner. It was as if he was practicing, and anyone walking into the restaurant for a sushi platter and some wine was forced to listen. But, there were always enough sycophants in the audience who’d watch on with rapt admiration and make him feel special.
3. In 2012 Nathan Hedge arrived looking fit and healthy, and ready to win heats. He subsequently revealed that he had just come out of a successful stint in rehab for a drinking problem and was ready to take on the world again. He showed form in J-Bay with an amazing 10-point ride followed by an equally remarkable scrotum-grab claim (both hands). When Stab interviewed him on the beach a few minutes after his heat and asked him to talk about the 10-point ride, Hedgey couldn’t remember it, which might have something to do with the crippling affects of alcohol abuse. Or, the euphoria of grabbing a 10.
4. Jordy Smith’s first win at JBay in 2010. It was emotional. Jordy was holding a bit more weight on that large frame, but didn’t have a care in the world on his shoulders and was fast and loose. He flew, he rotated, he cried when the results were announced, and he showed the world what he was all about. Kelly called him for multiple world titles, and it has been nearly three quick years since then.
5. Bobby Martinez’s 10-point backhand barrel in 2008. Prior to meltdown, prior to tennis tour metaphors and prior to poverty, Bobby was a bald but happy and smiling man on the pro tour who loved surfing perfect waves, either backhand or forehand. This wave was tricky but the notorious devil wind that was blowing up the point blew straight into the tube and kept it open all the way for Bobby to escape.
6. The Kelly Slater vs Andy Irons final in 2005. Andy had it in the bag. Kelly sneaked a set in the dying seconds of the heat. He needed a high score. He hit it four times in the most critical part of a big wave and fell off on his fifth re-entry attempt at Impossibles. He got the score. Needing a 9.23 the judges came in with a 9.5 and Andy’s reply was, simply: “You gave him a 9.5 before he even took off. Fucking ridiculous.”
7. Shark spottings.Taj Burrow spotted a shark in the contest in 2003 and was totally spooked, and Mick Lowe saw his own in 2007. “I saw a shark,” Lowe said. “Phil (McDonald) caught a wave and while the wave was feathering across from Boneyards, I saw it. It did a U-turn to head back and it was no dolphin, it had a girth on it. I saw its white belly and I’ve never seen one before, but I’ve seen them on the TV and that’s exactly what it looked like.” Immediately afterwards the ASP introduced a new rule in that if you see a shark in your heat you have to wave your hands in the air and paddle in. For real. It’s documented.
8. Heath Joske’s soul arch in 2012. Last year, J-Bay was a six-star event, and it was met with four days of perfect surf. The event started off dismally with South African Royden Bryson snapping his leg in a freesurf the day before the event, but one of the highlights was an unsponsored and heavily bearded Heath Joske cruising along a perfect Supers wall in the classic soul arch. Out of all the barrels, carves and airs that day it was the soul arch that got the most cheers from the spectators, which probably means something.
9. The Nemesis. Sean Holmes had Andy Irons’ number at J-Bay, and they always drew each other early in the contest. In 2010 The Nemesis went a step further and eliminated first Kelly Slater and then Andy Irons, two surfers with 12 world titles between them at the time. Sean instantly became the most dangerous wild card with an earring in the world.
10. Commentary. The combination of Luke Egan and Joe Turpel on webcasting duties along with GT doing the beach interviews in 2010. It’s not such a good memory, this one. It was a mesmeric combination of droning voices and leather-gloved vaudeville as the dreaded triumvirate pushed out all media aspects of the event to a hateful, chagrinned world. Good surfing though. A few sick airs and stuff.